I was recently introduced to a new business, TogTools.com, from a photographer friend of mine and co-founder, Jess Robertson. TogTools is a free online resource for new or emerging photographers to gain knowledge through various podcast interviews from notable creatives in our industry. The focus of their interviews are all things related to running a successful business.
It all started with a conversation between filmmaker Justin Gustavision and I this past Friday. Justin works for Nadus Films who just released a brilliant award-winning documentary “BBoy For Life” which shows how break dancing has provided teenagers a way out of Guatemalan gang life. The film has been picked up by Starz and Discovery Channel, yet their social media presence could be considered dry, when it should be arousing a well-deserved tornado of hype.
You might someday find yourself working within the overall vision of someone else – like an editor, an art director or, in this case, a director of photography – when shooting on assignment for publications as big as Sports Illustrated. Limited time with your subject and being asked for simple lighting against a simple background isn’t uncommon in this industry. So how would you go about getting the type of photographs your employer wants plus creating a dramatically lit and colored set for yourself?
Photographer Tyler Shields sat on a 7 month waiting list to acquire a rare and in-demand $100,000 Crocodile Birkin bag... and fed it to an alligator all for the sake of art. These images are part of his fine art series “Indulgence,” which is set to premiere in galleries in Los Angeles and London shortly. See some of the final images below. What do you think of them?
One of the most trying experiences I've had since becoming a photographer has been coming to terms with the fact that there are places in our county where, quite simply, we are not allowed to take photos. Now, I’m not talking about setting up hundred-person movie sets complete with production vans and craft services tables, nor do I mean shooting on private property, sacred land, and/or Area 51-type secret military bases...
Action/adventure sports photographer Brett Wilhelm, who comes from a long-time staff position with NCAA Photos/Clarkson Creative and currently shoots for the likes of ESPN's XGames.com, Sports Illustrated, and NCAA, takes us through a typical NCAA backboard camera setup. He shows us everything from how they reduce vibration and glare from the backboard to how to get every image to the photo room as efficiently and reliably as possible.
Capturing a high action activity like ice climbing can be tricky enough, but photographer Ray Demski took it one step further– to include the aurora borealis, and to do it in a single image (no compositing). In this behind the scenes video, see the challenges Ray faced when having to deal with capturing a long exposure of the scene, while dangling on the side of an ice cliff himself.
Intelligent Details is the new ad / documentary that Bentley Motors commissioned. It was filmed throughout New York and highlights what inspires Luc Donckerwolke, Bentley's Director of Design, and SangYup Lee, Head of Exterior Design. At around the 3:16 mark, you'll be treated to a behind-the-scenes look at how the film was created. Their YouTube channel explains, "Intelligent Details was filmed, assembled and edited using the in-car connectivity and entertainment platform."
Weapons of Choice is a powerful visual series that demonstrates, through painfully jaw-dropping imagery, the damage verbal abuse has on a person. I found myself saddened yet amazed while looking through the photos. Richard Johnson takes the power of a photo to a whole new level by eloquently illustrating the invisible and eternal scars victims of emotional, sexual and verbal abuse endure.
During an initial meeting with local publication NFocus Magazine, the Editor-In-Chief asked for a unique aesthetic on Louisville's theater and arts community and wanted a massive group shot, but not your traditional group shot. I threw out the idea to shoot actors and their "characters" from directly overhead on a theater floor, as if they were action figures laid out and organized. Two seconds after I uttered the idea, I realized I had no clue how I would pull it all off.
Former Fstoppers writer and Columbus, Ohio based portrait and fashion photographer, Nick Fancher has recently been working on a series he calls Studio Anywhere in which he photographs models in their own homes. Nick's an avid strobist; meticulously lighting every shoot with a small army of speed lights. He has kindly agreed to give us a sneak peek into his lighting setups from two images in the series.
When I met Laura Grier at WPPI this year, she showcased her latest editorial fashion shoot with a behind the scenes video. It isn't everyday you get a backstage look at the work and creativity that goes into this type of photo-shoot. Not only are the photos incredible, but the designs and creations showcased on the models are one of a kind. Truly an inspiring piece.
Photography-related groups on Facebook are growing exponentially along with the exploding industry. As with many things in life, there are pros and cons when participating in these groups. One can experience valuable feedback, expertise and positive reinforcement from peers, while also experiencing nitpickers and people who pull you down. There are far more important elements often missed when discussing groups that could change the way you benefit from them... forever.
From time to time, we show of some behind the scenes videos of popular movies and TV shows that highlight the hard work done behind the camera to make the stories come alive. However, rarely do we get to see a side by side comparison of a visual effect heavy movie such as Final Destination 5, showing us all the hard work that is done to seamlessly create exciting moments on a budget.
Photographer Sam Hurd is sharing yet another one of his artistic photography techniques with his followers. He mastered The Brenizer Method, he basically had all of Amazon on backorder for Prisming, he ripped the lens mount right off his 50mm for Freelensing, and then he did some convex Lens Chimping. This time around, Sam attached an old anamorphic movie lens to his 85mm in order to shoot a very cinematic wide field of view. Take a look at how it works!